The year was 2000, a time when it was thought a great many things were going to go wrong. All fears were put to rest and people went on with life as we know it. Donnie Huth from Easton, Pennsylvania, was in the market for a ride at the time, and in June of 2000, he purchased this '97 SVT Mustang Cobra. So much for things going wrong.
Over the next nine years, Donnie kept making subtle changes to the Snake in an effort to boost its car show potential.
"I had a pretty different Honda Accord, and after doing that, I realized the money to horsepower ratio wasn't working for me," says Donnie. "I like this Mustang body style because everything is round on the body, and you really don't see a lot of this body style done tastefully. Plus it was a Cobra and priced right."
Details are what great show...
Details are what great show cars have in spades. Most people won't notice the Mr. Body Kit mirrors with LED turn signals that complement the aftermarket ground effects.
Shortly after bringing the Cobra home, Donnie wasted no time in modifying it. Eibach Sportline coilsprings were one of the first changes, followed by a Ford Racing 4.10:1 gear ratio change, Steeda underdrive pulleys, and Flowtech Warlock mufflers with a modified factory H-pipe. The Four-Valve 281ci engine is otherwise completely stock below the cam covers and Cobra intake.
"I ran it at Maple Grove Raceway," says Donnie, "and it went 13.65 at 105.1 on the stock Cobra wheels."
Genuine Roush side skirts were next, and Donnie noted that these were probably the easiest things to put on the car, as there were no alterations needed. Argent-colored Roush wheels were next, as was an ABC Exclusive front bumper cover. "There weren't many front bumper cover options at the time for a Cobra," explained Donnie. Saleen provided the rear bumper cover, and after growing tired of the silver wheels, Donnie swapped them out for the polished and staggered later-model Roush hoops.
Black cars sure look nice when they are all polished up, but they don't always snag attention like the brightly colored cars do at shows, so Donnie enlisted the help of Warren Keeler of Keeler's Auto Body (Allentown, Pennsylvania) to give the Cobra a slight makeover. Since the factory paint was in great shape on this relatively low-mile Snake, Donnie and Warren opted to two-tone the body using House of Kolors Tangerine Kandy. The resulting color combination is classy and vibrant to say the least.
At the same time all of these exterior changes were happening, Donnie was also modifying the engine compartment with all of the latest accessories. BBK's cold-air kit added chrome to the engine bay while opening up the intake tract for more airflow, and a Canton coolant reservoir looks the show part over the factory black plastic tank. Donnie continued accenting the engine compartment with chrome and billet aluminum throughout.
With Donnie's Cobra having logged just over 50,000 miles in its lifetime, there wasn't much to do to the immaculate stock interior. A few billet accents from UPR Products share space with what Donnie tells us is a relatively rare upholstery option. While we were unable to verify the numbers, Donnie's research says that his black Cobra is just 1 of 12 that feature this black, speckled cloth upholstery. Plus, the factory seats ensure Donnie's backside is plenty comfortable on long drives to shows all over the northeast.
And show it he does. Donnie tells us that his Cobra has won over 25 trophies in 2008, garnering numerous First in Class, Best Paint, and Best In Show awards. This winter, Donnie has more plans to spruce up the engine compartment a little bit more with additional paint, polishing, and maybe a set of headers. He's also considering swapping out the factory seats for a set of two-tone, leather-clad buckets. Is there an end to the pursuit of perfection? Probably not, but Donnie Huth's Cobra has to be close.
The engine compartment on...
The engine compartment on this 51,000-mile Snake has been painted and polished. A BBK cold-air kit along with an aftermarket exhaust system help the 4.6L produce 297 rwhp and 281 lb-ft of torque. PSI Motorsports (New Tripoli, Pennsylvania) handled the ECM changes using a plug-in aftermarket chip.
Just a few tasteful billet...
Just a few tasteful billet accents have been added to an otherwise clean stock interior. Donnie tells us that the Pony cloth interior is a relatively rare option for a Cobra, with just 11 other examples rolling off the assembly line similarly equipped. The shifter is stock as well, and stirs the cogs in the stock T-45 five-speed manual transmission.
These Roush Performance wheels...
These Roush Performance wheels are arguably some of the best-looking Mustang wheels out there. This staggered set measures 18x9 up front and 18x10 out back, and wears Michelin Pilot Sport tires all around. Donnie paints the factory Cobra calipers every other year using Eastwood products.